Decision between Netgear Orbi RBR50 and new Google WiFi 3-pack

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btrotter

New Around Here
There is a local person selling a Netgear Orbi RBR50/RBS50 pair for $200.
I also just saw last night the deal for the Google WiFi 3-pack (2020 edition) for $200.

I would like to upgrade my wifi at home. I have a 2-level home, almost 3k sqft. Currently I have a single Linksys WRT1900AC, running OpenWRT.
The Linksys is ok, but I have some issues with it which bug me. I have an Amazon Cloudcam that won't connect to it (some driver compatibility issue), and a network laser printer that prints at 1 page per minute, that I believe it is related to wifi as well.

I have a lot of wireless devices. Approximately 7 Wyze cameras, all using 2Ghz. Home security devices, and about a dozen (or more) random other devices (phone, PC's, TV, tablets, etc).
I have different VLAN's created for the Wyze cameras and home security devices so they only have access to the internet and not the internal network. I also created a unique WLAN that they can connect to.
My goal was to make it so I could change the WLAN PSK for a specific network without having to change every single device that connects to it.
I am sure I am saturating the 2Ghz band, and possibly stressing the router.

Between the two devices above, which would you choose? Do either of them give any advanced options (like VLAN tagging, multiple WLAN's)?
I would like to run an ethernet cable between the router and satellite devices to backhaul the traffic between them, but that isn't a necessity.
I have never used a consume grade mesh device like these and am not sure how reliable they are, and do they seamlessly handle roaming devices and things like that.

Thanks for your feedback!
 

Ola Malmstrom

Regular Contributor
Have been on that track myself. However after having read a # of articles on mesh systems, I have decided to stay with my central router (Asus RT-AX88U) and 3 APs connected with wires. This gives me full control of all settings on the APs. I can adjust channels, transmit power and add some stationary node MAC addresses to the Reject list.

I have a house of similar size and get 300 - 500 mbit / sec all over the house. My ISP delivers 500/500 mbit / sec.
 

btrotter

New Around Here
Have been on that track myself. However after having read a # of articles on mesh systems, I have decided to stay with my central router (Asus RT-AX88U) and 3 APs connected with wires. This gives me full control of all settings on the APs. I can adjust channels, transmit power and add some stationary node MAC addresses to the Reject list.

I have a house of similar size and get 300 - 500 mbit / sec all over the house. My ISP delivers 500/500 mbit / sec.
Just curious, do you have a problem with clients staying associated to a weak AP? I don't know how well the mesh systems allow roaming. The higher end systems will force the clients to associate to a stronger AP, but I don't know if consumer grade does that.
 

Ola Malmstrom

Regular Contributor
No, I don't have any problems like that.

The best proof is that my wife doesn't complain ;). She walks around the house a lot - talking to people on Facetime. If she has problems, she will let me know for sure.....o_O

Roaming depends very much on the clients. On some clients you can adjust the roaming aggressiveness (not on phones though as far as I know).

On ASUS routers and APs, you can tweak the roaming behavior in several ways. You can't do this on most mesh systems (at least not Asus and Google). For each device, you can:
  • Adjust the channel used by each device to minimize interference between simultaneous transmit requests
  • Disable the 2.4 GHz band
  • Adjust the transmit power
  • Add MAC addresses to reject lists if you want a client to connect to a specific device
  • Enable the roaming assistant to disconnect clients below a certain level. I have left this at -70 dB (default)
 
D

Deleted member 51572

Guest
fyi, Google WiFi does not support VLAN tagging. i tested out a 3-pack Google Nest a year or so ago, mesh performance was OK, comparable to AiMesh over wireless backhaul, but still nowhere near as fast & reliable as a secondary router configured for AP mode, and wired directly to the primary router. I sent back the Google Nest mesh system.
 
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btrotter

New Around Here
In your opinion, what is the best setup to have a mesh setup that supports VLAN tagging and multiple SSID's per band (to separate my IOT devices from home network)?
A couple Asus routers running AImesh, Ubiquiti UnifiAP's?
I would like to stay under $300 for the entire setup, which I am not sure is realistic unless I purchase used gear, which I am ok with.
 
D

Deleted member 51572

Guest
tbh, i don't have enough experience with mesh systems (other than Google Nest and AiMesh) to make an informed recommendation. that said, a mesh network using wired backhaul to each of the nodes will always outperform a wireless backhaul, that's a given, but wiring up a large house like yours might not be worth the effort.

if i were to upgrade to a mesh system in the future, i'd definitely consider Ubiquiti's UniFi and/or AmpliFi line of network gear. Or (i hate to make Bezos any richer) Amazon's eero mesh wifi system consistently gets top reviews, and it's less expensive than Ubiquiti. if i wanted an easy-to-setup and inexpensive mesh network that i could just set & forget, then i'd probably go for a 3-node eero system or Google WiFi.

re tagging: I have FTTH and my ISP uses VLAN tagging (VID35) for internet traffic between my Asus AC1900P router and their Alcatel-Lucent ONT (Optical Network Terminal). Asus routers do support VLAN tagging, and it's trivial to configure; I simply entered '35' for the Internet VID under the IPTV section on my Asus router, and that was it.

Under $300? good luck.
 
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thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
In general, consumer Wi-Fi "mesh" systems don't have advanced features like VLAN tagging, or even basic features like the ability to set channels. AiMesh retains access to most routing advanced features, but enables mesh operation. Still, the advanced features that you want are not all there.

Multiple SSIDs per band, other then having one, or maybe more "guest" networks, are usually available only in access points.
 

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